Anything You Can Do, Softbank Can Do Better
Following Vodafone Japan’s announcement earlier this week that its latest idea to lead itself out of the darkness is to wholesale network access to MVNOs, upstart rival Softbank says it, too, will support virtual operators when it enters the mobile market. If anything, it’s not good news for Vodafone, as Softbank’s record in the DSL market and history of creative offerings engenders a bit more optimism that it will come out on top, compared to Vodafone’s ongoing struggles. But expect it and Japan’s other incumbent operators to try to throw up more roadblocks for Softbank, as they’ve done since it said it wanted to become a mobile operator. Lately, in addition to asking the government to offer new entrants more spectrum, Softbank also wants incumbent carriers to allow domestic roaming as it builds its network, something NTT DoCoMo is resisting.